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KNTPG Petitions for Promotion of Teachers with Masters and PhDs

The Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group (KNTPG) has successfully petitioned a recommendation that seeks to have thousands of teachers who have acquired Masters and PhDs while in the service promoted.

Ms Martha Omollo who is the spokesperson for the KNTPG petitioned the National Assembly to require the teachers’ employer, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to promote teachers who have earned diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s doctorate degrees while under the Commission’s employment.

Following this, the National Assembly recommended the Commission recognize and acknowledge teachers who have attained higher qualifications while in service.

“TSC should open negotiations on the Career Progression Guidelines (CPG) within six months of the adoption of this report and uphold the rights of teachers who have acquired relevant qualifications while in service.

“Further, TSC shall issue guidelines on relevant courses to be undertaken by teachers,” read part of the report issued by the Education and Research Committee adopted by the National Assembly last Thursday.

The MPs said that the promotions should be done according to the 1966 UNESCO/ILO recommendations that recognize the intellectual rights of teachers who undertake and complete relevant in-service courses.

TSC stopped automatic promotions based on Schemes of Service in the year 2014 and then implemented Career Progression Guidelines (CPGs) in 2016.

The National Assembly has also instructed teachers’ unions to submit budgetary requirements for the promotion of all eligible teachers in the fiscal budget estimates for 2023/2024 for the MPs’ consideration.

The petition has been a huge lift for Ms Omollo and the KNTPG following her forced transfer from Nairobi to Trans-Nzoia County in 2021 which she complained about publicly saying it was victimization.

She was not alone in this with other KNTPG officials also being affected by the transfers which the Commission refuted as punitive, claiming that it was well within its rights to do so.

On his part, former Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) following a prolonged tussle and disagreements with TSC. The union eventually lost its members and influence in its operations leading to the quitting of Sossion.

Since then KNUT has since had a new Secretary-General in Collins Oyuu who was a key figure in the signing of the new 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

After the lodging of the petition, the Parliamentary Committee took time to listen to presentations from Mr Wilson Sossion, Ms Omllo, TSC, KNUT and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers.

Teachers’ unions were in support of the promotion of teachers based on higher academic qualifications while TSC was in defence of the Code of Regulation for Teachers and the CPGs arguing that the two ways of promotion provided the minim qualification that is required for each job grade and the conditions that should be met before a teacher is promoted.

“TSC should promote teachers who graduated before 2014 because they used their resources to study but they have stagnated in the same job group. We speak for teachers because the unions no longer speak for us,” said Ms Omollo to the Nation. According to Ms Omollo, the number of teachers who graduated before 2014 was around 33,000.

In previous times, primary school teachers who attained a Diploma or a degree were promoted automatically to Job Groups K and L.

According to TSC, the large number of teachers who began attaining the higher qualifications had become too high and infeasible to have the policy running sustainably.

The Commission also argued that it has been promoting around 1,000 teachers since 2017 to address a teacher shortage in secondary schools.

The Committee also revealed that some cadres of teachers had been left out of the vertical progression used in the transition from SoS to CPGs as well as the conversion of job groups to salary scales.

Among these were P1 teachers who had earned Bachelor’s degrees in education, teachers who had previously worked in Job Group L but did not have administrative duties and those who held diplomas and had joined Job Group J and earned degrees by the time the 2016 CBA started.

According to the report from the committee chaired by Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua, the Commission should ensure that any changes made to the Code of Regulation for Teachers are approved in Parliament and that the CPGs do not affect in any way or eliminate any existing benefit of teachers serving under the TSC.

Following this, the National Assembly’s recommendations are now set to be officially communicated.

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